What is a Whole Community?

Recently I had a conversation with a good friend about his experience of raising a special needs person into adulthood. His son has reached the legal age of adulthood and has the mental state of a normal two year old. His goal is to give his son as normal as possible life experience of community, love and acceptance.

As we continued the conversation, he shared how difficult it is to have fellow community members offer to take his son for a walk. This simple gesture would have so much benefit for his son and for the rest of his family. Taking his son for a walk would provide his son with new experiences of the community world while offering respite and acceptance to my friend and his family. It would relieve the burden of being alone in this incredibly important journey.

Yet, our fellow community members often stay aloof from people like my friend. It isn’t that we don’t have compassion for them, it is that we are afraid of doing or saying something wrong. And we assume that they have professional support and it is only professionals that know how to deal with these kind of situations. And in the process, we cheat ourselves from a great learning experience for how to be a more whole human.

How can we be a whole human if we cannot reach out and share these kind of experiences with our fellow neighbours? How can we accept that we live in community if it is only with people who are like us? What can we do to make our communities whole?

At Happy Community Builders, we have a monthly theme to explore and share ideas around community. For the month of March we will explore what it means to be a whole community and what we can do to make our communities whole. Please join in the conversation at Happy Community Builders

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